Eye On Health: Soy & Asthma - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Eye On Health: Soy & Asthma

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CHATTANNOOGA (WRCB) -- For Katrina Duff, days like this are bitter sweet. She enjoys spending time outdoors working in her garden, but knows that between the heat and the pollen, an asthma flare could be just a breath away.

"Hot summer days like today with the humidity, a lot of times when there's the air quality alerts, I do feel my asthma kick in a little bit," says Katrina Muska Duff.

Katrina makes sure to keep her rescue inhaler nearby just in case. But recently she started trying something else. Katrina's part of a new national study to see if adding more soy to her diet can help her breathe easier.

Dr. John Mastronarde is an asthma specialist at Ohio State University Medical Center who is helping conduct the study.

He says in places like Asia where soy consumption is higher, asthma complication tend to be lower. So hundreds of patients are being recruited in the U.S. to take soy supplements twice a day to see if it can help them.

"We have some very good drugs for asthma. And in a majority of patients they work pretty well. The problem is when they first line medicines don't really work, then we're much more limited," says Dr. Mastronarde.

But if soy proves to be effective in helping to control symptoms, it could be a simple and inexpensive option for patients like Katrina.

"I already take vitamins on a daily basis, so I thought maybe adding another supplement to my daily vitamin intake wouldn't be a big deal," says Katrina.

Doctors say there is an ingredient in soy known as genistein, that is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that may help control asthma. The soy study will include asthma patients ages 12 and older. Results are expected in the next couple of years.

For local care, contact Marc Cromie (423-899-0431), Stat Fitness (423-702-5055), or Covenant Allergy and Asthma Care (423-468-3267).

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